Oxford University teams up with Thermo Fisher on COVID-19 data
Oxford University has teamed up with Thermo Fisher to increase resource availability and access to useful COVID-19 testing data. Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with annual revenue exceeding $25 billion. The new rapid testing laboratory and jointly developed Thermo Scientific OmnipathTM Combi SARS-CoV-2 IgG ELISA test detects and quantifies antibodies against the coronavirus and increases the University of Oxford’s testing capacity to up to 50,000 tests per day. The collaboration is one of many between the university and life sciences company. Oxford are already using a fully automated platform to provide weekly testing data that is provided to the Office for National Statistics. The equipment and lab space from Thermo Fisher will assist in expanding the capacity and capability of the Oxford team’s testing efforts as well as helping to monitor a potential coronavirus vaccine’s effect on antibody production.
Dr. Sarah Walker, Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology at the University of Oxford and Chief Investigator of the National COVID-19 infection survey said: “Using this test within the COVID-19 Infection Survey will allow us to answer vital questions about the role of previous infection, and varying levels of antibody response to previous infection, in protecting people from getting infected again in the future...” Oxford is working on an experimental COVID-19 vaccine with AstraZeneca, and eagerly anticipated data from large studies of the vaccine, one of the frontrunners, is expected by year-end. “Having quantitative data on neutralizing antibodies will enable better understanding of the immune response following exposure to the COVID-19 virus and support monitoring of the effectiveness of vaccines as they become available”, said the university in a statement on the Thermo Fisher deal.